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The article is a bit contrived IMHO. Could not even turn on a computer? Even my elderly mother-in-law can do this.
That said, as someone who teaches CS at a major university, it is clear there is a bubble. Students who have little aptitude for programming and math are majoring in CS because of the economic incentives. This dilutes the academic experience for the capable students, while sending the incapable students off on an unsustainable career path. The bubble will burst, and will leave many people high and dry. We would do everyone a favor by encouraging the incapable students to pursue something they *are* good at.
Related to this, it is clear there is a disconnect between what CS programs require students to learn and what skills are relevant in the working world. Many students who go into CS actually want to learn software development, but CS programs offer very little in the way of SD. Institutions of higher ed, however, typically make changes at a glacial pace, and we should not count on them to fix the problems anytime soon. Accordingly, I'm in the process of fixing the disconnect in a small way by providing SD training to recent CS graduates. Even so, SD training won't magically make incapable students capable.
And related to this, don't expect universities to discourage incapable students from majoring in CS. Universities are, first and foremost, interested in selling their customers what they think they want, and the students are the customers.
Meanwhile, I've yet to find an incapable student who is unable to turn on a computer, so Mr. Altucher would bolster his credibility by going a little more lightly on the hyperbole.
You make very good points and you are correct about the extreme hyperbole of the article. Great points about Universities not doing much with real Soft Dev. and their extremely slow pace. Very encouraging to know you are out there making a difference. Thanks.
I worked for a company in 1990 and the boss employed a freshly graduated guy to be my assistant and help out with several new bespoke projects. he not only couldn't program, or understand simple instructions, but had no concept of what a customer might want, it was a disaster - he's probably a bigwig at Microsoft by now but I passed him on like a hot potato at the first opportunity
I passed him on like a hot potato at the first opportunity
That is similar to what they did with the guy I mentioned who didn't even understand functions. Everyone felt sorry for him even though he refused to open his eyes to any constructive criticism. One day a manager was going through ways to get rid of him,
"he can't code, he doesn't deal well with customers, he cannot write reports, he can't design systems...There's a management position in the Drabble Project. I'll tell the VP of Drabble that this is his man."
I doubt anyone that did nothing but attend class would be able to program professionally. Regardless of grades.
New graduates however often have work experience in programming and/or have done it outside of class. Sometimes that allows them to do a fairly decent job on non-critical software but attempting to hire new grads without defining a mentoring system is unlikely, on average, to produce good results.
I know of people who have a 1st or a 2:1 in Computer Science and can't program. It really makes you wonder at the range of topics covered in Computer Science degrees. I would have thought that programming was one of the fundamental topics but apparently it isn't.
This is interesting too, because in the 80s when I was in high school they always said, "data processing" (computer science) requires vast knowledge of math, so I knew I was out. Then, around 1988 I got my first computer, started learning QuickBasic, then QuickC and started writing programs. I didn't notice that I had not learned math so I kept on programming and learning. I was very good in logic for some reason, but at the time -- because my teachers had told me I was terrible in math -- I wasn't good at math.
Finally, after some years I decided to take some college math courses since they were apparently wrong about needing math for computer science, I figured maybe they were wrong about me being good in math too. I excelled in math. I love math. But, you see, the way they teach things is so non-vocational that all the teachers get stuck teaching so much theory that many people become disinterested.
Then, finally the truth becomes obvious. They teach math as theory because the teachers themselves don't understand math. So they stand around and spout things like, "advanced math is required for 'data processing'". Meanwhile, real and interesting math is happening inside your cells. But, most high school math teachers are really English majors who've never tried any math or logic problems outside the books, so they just keep the myth going. Sheesh. Then, at the college level, it does seem that colleges are teaching some very important foundational concepts . However, concepts don't get it in the real world. Students need more vocational training -- hands-on porgramming -- at the beginning, and then later as they know enough to understand how the foundation concepts are important, they should learn those. Or, at least more balance between the two.
If you take a look at a different angle[^] there is a whole driveway between the mural and the wall the memorial is against (clearer here pehaps.[^]) but the picture in the paper makes it look like it is painted directly above.
A later edition of the paper said she'd received death threats on the back of this article.
I just had an egg mayo samich for lunch with a couple of pickled onions and an almaspaprika [imagine hot and spicy, then add hot and spicy]. This was by choice.
Yes! I chose to eat this antisocial food and I choose to spit in the general direction of the stupid 'make it social before you make it work' mentality. Okay we get, people communicate. Great. But that doesn't make it more, or less, important then software that delivers support for the critical functions of an enterprise.
I became a developer so that I wouldn't have to be social!
Anything that is unrelated to elephants is irrelephant Anonymous ----- The problem with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they're genuine Winston Churchill, 1944 ----- I'd just like a chance to prove that money can't make me happy. Me, all the time
The largest consumer of that Visa is Infosys, they consume almost 40% of the available cap for an year, and their average H-1B salary is 76K. Not high, but not peanuts either consider most first time visa employees are in their mid 20s. But for me, the really interesting bits were the salary averages for the big companies like Microsoft and Google. Microsoft's average H-1b pay is 113K, Google's is 126K, Oracle's 113, Amazon has 109K, Apple pays a nice 130K, Facebook 123K, and here's a surprise, Walmart pays 113K average. I know there's a big outcry about these big companies hiring foreign workers and people always say it's because they pay peanuts, but salaries upwards of 110-120K for people under 30 seems to be on the higher side of affairs as far as I can see. Bit of an eye opener here.
I think it's a matter of a different foreign policy rather than lack of freedom. IMHO the US and Canada share similar freedoms but have different policies on several key issues. And we also have a mayor who's very entertaining.
We had a crackhead mayor[^] back in the '90's. As usual Canada is coping America decades after the fact and then patting itself on the back for being so clever.
Did you ever see history portrayed as an old man with a wise brow and pulseless heart, waging all things in the balance of reason? Is not rather the genius of history like an eternal, imploring maiden, full of fire, with a burning heart and flaming soul, humanly warm and humanly beautiful? --Zachris Topelius
Training a telescope on one’s own belly button will only reveal lint. You like that? You go right on staring at it. I prefer looking at galaxies. -- Sarah Hoyt
Back in real life, when I was a chemist, I was very offended at the existence of H-1B visas.
At that time, at least, it was used as a way to higher (=import) employees far below the market value of such credentials. Often so specific that it would be surprising if more than one person in the world could possibly fulfill them.
The technique the employers would use is put out a set of very specific requirements and accomplishment that, were a native/citizen capable of having would command a huge salary.
This artificial specificity was tailor made for a particular person they wanted to hire (perhaps a post-doc). The requirements that a US citizen be given first opportunity for the job was met - but in an obnoxious and cynical manner. So the letter of the law was met. The company got an indentured servant for an employee and a US citizen continued on their job search.
It's decades later, but this sore spot that will not easily heal.
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein
"As far as we know, our computer has never had an undetected error." - Weisert
"If you are searching for perfection in others, then you seek disappointment. If you are seek perfection in yourself, then you will find failure." - Balboos HaGadol Mar 2010
Yeah, I hear where you are coming from. I've heard similar stories from others before. Today though, the choice is sometimes between outsourcing the job to a team that's offshore or bringing an H-1B worker over here. Often it's a combination, where the teams are offshore and their leads are onshore on H-1Bs.
That said, the focus of my thread is that companies like Microsoft, Facebook, and Google have good salaries and they do not pay lower salaries to H-1B employees. In their case, the visas are for genuine reasons.
I didn't come in with an H-1B, but I had left the company and wanted to come back. I called one of my former bosses to see how this could work out and he said that they were in the middle of a big layoff and were required to offer any job openings to any qualified person on the layoff list (the operative word here is "qualified"). He wanted me to send him a complete detailed Resume that listed every thing that I had done for the company in the 15 years that I had worked for them (hardware development and software development) including my current qualifications (going back to GE/Honeywell, currently working on IBM). I sent him a detailed 6 page Resume and he wrote up an RFP that only one person in the whole world could fulfill. I got the job.
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